MSc Position in Small Flock Disease Surveillance-May 2016

A 2-year MSc position is available commencing September 2016 in the laboratory of Dr. Leonardo Susta, Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph. This MSc position will focus on determining the presence and prevalence of important infectious agents in non-commercial, non-quota poultry flocks in Ontario, and to identify the potential risk of disease transmission to commercial poultry operation using a qualitative risk assessment framework. The research will involve organization of pathological and microbiological diagnoses (as they derive from the Animal Health Laboratory), data analysis and interpretation, including but not limited to use of geographic information software (GIS), and application of a qualitative health risk assessment. The graduate student will interact with stakeholders and collaborators in the Animal Health Laboratory, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and the poultry industry. Part of the project will also include compiling data from husbandry and biosecurity questionnaires, which are submitted by the flock’s owners. Review of particularly challenging cases, and phylogenesis for different virus isolates maybe an option for additional investigation, based on the student’s interests. More information about the project can be found at:

Selection of the successful candidate is based on a combination of academic criteria, relevant interest and experience, referees’ evaluations, and an assessment of the candidate’s career goals and motivation. A DVM is preferred but not required.

The stipend is $20,000 / year. Additional funds can be sought by the applicant through various scholarships, which may be available through the Ontario Veterinary College or other opportunities, such as Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS), and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) HQP scholarship. Please contact Donna Kangas (contact information below) for details.

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled.

Additional information regarding admission requirements and the application process can be found at:

Further inquiries can be directed to Mrs. Donna Kangas, Graduate Program Assistant, OVC Graduate Program Services, Building 174, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada; phone 519-824-4120 ext. 54725; e-mail (

Research-related inquiries should be directed to Dr. Leonardo Susta (

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